What is a cochlear implant?
A cochlear implant is an electronic medical device which replaces the function of the damaged inner ear (cochlea). Cochlear implants bypass the damaged hair cells of the cochlea to provide sound signals to the brain.
The implant consists of an external portion that sits behind the ear and a second portion that is surgically placed under the skin.
An implant consists of:
- A microphone, which picks up sound from the environment.
- A speech processor, which selects and arranges sounds picked up by the microphone.
- A transmitter and receiver/stimulator, which receive signals from the speech processor and convert them into electric impulses.
- An electrode array, which is a group of electrodes that collects the impulses from the stimulator and sends them to different regions of the auditory nerve.
Who can get a cochlear implant?
Both children and adults who are deaf or severely hard-of-hearing can be candidates for implants. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), more than 324,200 people worldwide have received implants till date.
You need an implant if you:
- Have moderate to profound hearing loss in both ears
- Receive little or no benefit from hearing aids
- Score 50% or less on sentence recognition tests done by hearing professionals in the ear to be implanted
- Score 60% or less on sentence recognition tests done by hearing professionals in the non-implanted ear or in both ears with hearing aids.
Cochlear Implant Procedure
The surgical procedure for cochlear implants starts with a careful evaluation by ENT surgeon, anesthetist, audiologist and physician. A little incision in made at the back of the ear and then the surgeon implants the receiver. The receiver is then connected to electrodes that are surgically inserted inside the cochlea. The surgery usually takes 1-2 hours to complete.
Benefits of Cochlear Implants
- You develop more confidence in different social situations
- You speak at normal hearing level
- You communicate better
- You start enjoying the world of new sounds
Thinking of getting a cochlear implant? Here’s what you need to know…
The United Nations Development Index ranked Nigeria 152 out of 187 countries in healthcare delivery in 2014, which is a result of existing lacunae in the infrastructure and healthcare facilities including low doctor population ratio and absence of internationally recognized certifications in the country.
Around 1.27 million people visit India for medical treatment from countries such as the US, UK, and Canada in addition to visitors from neighboring countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan. Not so long ago in 2012, about 40% of visas to India from Nigeria were for different medical treatments.
Why medical tourism?
- Cost effective world class medical facilities with hospitals and specialized health centers with no waiting time.
- Exceptionally advanced quality of healthcare, accredited medical facilities, skilled doctors and para-medical professionals.
- Availability of affordable accommodation options.
- Well-connected means of transportation.
- Availability of alternative treatment options such as ayurveda, yoga and naturopathy.